/ Modified oct 2, 2019 10:48 a.m.

Inspector general finds CBP broke the law at California port

Investigators found that CBP officials at the Tecate port of entry acted illegally in 2017 regarding asylum seekers.

US DHS flags The American flag and a flag bearing the seal of the Department of Homeland Security.
Barry Bahler/DHS

PHOENIX — The Homeland Security Department’s own watchdog says Customs and Border Protection broke the law when dealing with asylum-seekers at small port of entry in California that sits between San Diego and Calexico.

The report is from the Office of Inspector General for DHS, and it’s the result of a probe into allegations made by a CBP officer about asylum practices at the Tecate port of entry.

Investigators found that CBP officials at Tecate acted illegally in 2017. After asylum seekers had already entered the United States, CBP reportedly took some of them back to Mexico. Federal officials then told the migrants to seek help at a bigger port of entry.

The inspector general also found that other migrants who waited in line to seek asylum at Tecate were never actually allowed to enter there, and they were also told to get help at a bigger port of entry.

A CBP spokesperson emailed a prepared statement.

“CBP has received the DHS OIG report regarding the Tecate port of entry," the statement says. "In light of pending litigation, CBP declines to comment at this time.”

Fronteras Desk
This story is from the Fronteras Desk, a collaboration of Southwestern public radio stations, including NPR 89.1. Read more from the Fronteras Desk.
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